Tuesday will be the most important mid-term election in our lifetime. (Is that all?) Barbara Streisand has vowed if the Democrats don’t win the House she may move to Canada. That might be welcome news to Donald Trump’s many anti-Semitic supporters. They used to hide their bigotry as the KKK used to wear sheets but these days they are emboldened by what they consider a friendly White House.

Pure bigotry was behind the massacre at the Jewish temple in Pittsburgh. Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column is entitled “In Trump’s America Jews are Not Safe.” Frankly, I’m glad my late parents aren’t here to see this.

Contrasting this is a letter about religious liberty in America from George Washington to a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island. It ended with a biblical quote, “Every one shall sit in safety and there shall be none to make him afraid.” The alleged Pittsburgh shooter, the alleged pipe bomber and the alleged racist double murderer in Kentucky are evidence the Trump era is not making America great, it’s making America hate.

Following past national tragedies, presidents have always attempted to lift spirits and speak to our better angels. Examples include FDR after Pearl Harbor; LBJ after JFK’s assassination; Reagan after the Challenger disaster; Clinton after Oklahoma City; Bush after 9/11; and Obama after Sandy Hook. Trump talked about his having a bad hair day.

After the worst attack on Jews in American history, Trump held a raucous political rally, though he almost canceled it. Not because of the murders but because “My hair got wet.” (Smiling broadly, he added, ”But someone said my hair looks better this way.”)

Imagine if Lincoln interrupted “Four score and seven years ago…” with, “I almost canceled this Gettysburg Address because someone sat on my hat. But someone else said it looks better this way. “

Beside grotesque narcissism, why did Trump make such a tone deaf joke? It’s for the same reason he said “there were fine people” among the KKK marchers at Charlottesville. The truth was revealed the day following the 2016 election when former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke, looked into a news camera and warned Trump, “Don’t forget who got you elected.” Clearly, Trump hasn’t forgotten.

Trump essentially blamed the Jewish Tree of Life synagogue. “If they’d had an armed guard maybe the only person to die would have been the shooter.” (What’s Trump’s next suggestion, a gun-toting Rabbi?)

On Tuesday, Trump and Melania went to Pittsburgh to pay their respects but no official, not even a Republican politician, met them at the airport. In fact, 76,000 in the Jewish community signed a letter demanding Trump give a full throated denunciation of white nationalism but he refused. As Obama rhetorically asked, “How hard is it to say Nazis are bad?”

Instead of uniting, Trump fear mongers. In attacking “the immigrant caravan, ” he even used the term “infestation,” the very same word Hitler used to describe “the Jewish problem.” If Trump isn’t a racist, at least racists think he is. Albeit dark, there’s still humor in Trump’s colossal ignorance.

When a reporter asserted there was zero proof that Middle-Easterners were in the caravan, Trump snarled like a childish bully, “There’s no proof of anything but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!” Later, Trump said, “No country in the world has birthright citizenship,” when, in fact, 33 countries do.

And when Trump suggested he could amend the 14th Amendment with an Executive Order, Paul Ryan found what’s left of his spine, “You obviously can’t do that.” Even Melania’s immigration lawyer blasted Trump. “His idea is dead on arrival.”

Indication of Trump’s election panic was his false claim weeks ago that there would be a 10% tax cut for the middle class “before the mid-terms.” When a reporter noted that Congress wasn’t even in session, Trump fumbled, “We’ll do it now and pass it when they get back.” Say, what?

Like the horrific fascism of the 1930’s that culminated in WW2, bigotry is growing around the world. Brazil just elected a president who says that he’d rather his son dead than gay. (Imagine being his son.) In England, fans of the Chelsea soccer club chant anti-Semitic songs because the team owner is Jewish.

Democrats are campaigning on health care, protecting people with pre-existing conditions and blocking Medicare and Social Security cuts. The GOP’s campaign depends on gerrymandering, voter suppression and fear. Like a mobster, Trump warns that if the Democrats win the house, “You’re all going to lose a lot of money.” (Even if it were true, which it’s not, it’s better than losing our democracy.)

Personally, if the Democrats don’t win the House and Barbara Streisand moves to Canada, I may ask if she needs someone to carry her bags.

For more, Google “Dana Milbank Trump’s America Not Safe for Jews;” “Pittsburgh Muslims raise money for temple” and “Iranian Student Fundraising.” Jack is at jackdailypress@aol.com

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2 Comments

  1. Extremely poor judgment and taste to even list the 11 individuals murdered at the temple in Squirrel Hill, PA along with a photo of someone having a bad hair day!

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